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Geisinger becomes the first member of Risant Health

New program to combat burnout and trauma through pet therapy

DANVILLE, Pa. – Geisinger is seeking volunteers for Paws to Reflect, an innovative program aimed at combating burnout and trauma by connecting healthcare professionals with pet therapy and peer support to provide relief and comfort in a safe environment. 

“We asked our caregivers what would help them feel more supported and get them through a difficult day. They responded with two very clear needs: more emotional support and more puppies,” said Brittany Drumm, program director of Geisinger’s Center for Professionalism and Well-Being. “Our teams do such incredible work, and this program will give us the chance to bring them comfort, resources, safe spaces and moments of respite.”

To be eligible, dogs and their handlers must complete Geisinger volunteer training and be certified by Therapy Dogs International, the Alliance of Therapy Dogs or a therapy dog certification program recognized by the American Kennel Club. 

Last fall, Geisinger was one of three health organizations to receive grant funding for Paws to Reflect during the first NurseHack4Health Pitch-A-Thon, presented by organizations like Johnson & Johnson, SONSIEL and Microsoft. Geisinger nurses and members of Geisinger’s Center for Professionalism and Well-Being and the Volunteer Services Department presented the program to the panel. 

While this initiative was launched through a nursing innovation competition, Geisinger intends to expand the program to support not only its nursing teams, but all employees.

If you’re interested in volunteering for the health system’s Paws to Reflect program, email geisingerpaws@geisinger.edu. You can also learn more about volunteering here. 
 

About Geisinger
Geisinger is among the nation’s leading providers of value-based care, serving 1.2 million people in urban and rural communities across Pennsylvania. Founded in 1915 by philanthropist Abigail Geisinger, the non-profit system generates $10 billion in annual revenues across 134 care sites - including 10 hospital campuses, and Geisinger Health Plan, with 600,000 members in commercial and government plans. The Geisinger College of Health Sciences educates more than 5,000 medical professionals annually and conducts more than 1,400 clinical research studies. With 26,000 employees, including 1,600 employed physicians, Geisinger is among Pennsylvania’s largest employers with an estimated economic impact of $14 billion to the state’s economy. On March 31, 2024, Geisinger became the first member of Risant Health, a new nonprofit charitable organization created to expand and accelerate value-based care across the country.  Learn more at geisinger.org or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and X.

 
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CONTACT: Annelise Przywara 

aprzywara@geisinger.edu 

570-449-3059

 
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